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Old 11-30-2012, 01:03 PM   #16
rwdavis2
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Originally Posted by princessmorgan View Post
Thanks for all your responses and experiences! I'm still torn. United is the only airline that flies nonstop from IAD-MCO, and it's only 7 minutes from my house. But United would not be my first choice of airline. We'd have to pay for bags, too. Tickets aren't too bad. Some are as low as $148 and around $180 for the flights I'd like.

DCA is about 30-40 minutes depending on traffic and we'd have to park. I really like flying with Jetblue though. Our trip is in January and some of the flights are as low as $110 RT! We'd have to stay like 10 days, but hey, more time at Disney

I think my biggest concern is with delays and weather in January. You never know what you're going to get and with the ages of kids I have, it's always better to be closer to home.
I've been flying with United from IAD and BWI for the least year (about 8-9 times) with no real issues. I got their credit card so the first checked bag is free. If you haul the bag to the gate they usually will check it for free due to limited space on board.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:15 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by rwdavis2 View Post
I've been flying with United from IAD and BWI for the least year (about 8-9 times) with no real issues. I got their credit card so the first checked bag is free. If you haul the bag to the gate they usually will check it for free due to limited space on board.
I was thinking about getting their CC if I knew we would be flying with them for awhile. Is it just the cardholder that gets a free bag or a companion, too?
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:24 PM   #18
rwdavis2
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I was thinking about getting their CC if I knew we would be flying with them for awhile. Is it just the cardholder that gets a free bag or a companion, too?
One companion gets a free bag. We flew with 4 people in June and only 2 of us got free bags.
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:39 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by princessmorgan View Post
DCA is about 30-40 minutes depending on traffic and we'd have to park.
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We'd have to park at the airport now instead of being dropped off since it's further away.
Not sure I understand why you 'have to park' at DCA.

I get that DCA is further from your home than IAD, but, in the grand scheme of things, its really not that far between the two places. Its not like you need a passport to cross some border...its just an hour or so more in the car for you driver.

Personally, I think you're undervaluing the ease of getting around at DCA, especially with strollers/little ones.. I've navigated IAD with a stroller and it can be a bit of a hassle....so many elevators to wait for*.

At DCA, not a single elevator to get on (terminal A, where jet blue is located), no mobile lounges or trams to get the family on, security is generally much shorter or at least much less crowded, and JetBlue's check-in area and baggage claim is pretty much exclusive to JetBlue and much less crowded than the Dulles check-in desks. All of which adds to the overall higher stress level at IAD.

*One trip a year or two ago, starting from the parking lot we had to take ELEVEN elevators to get to our gate: tram system had us get off at several mezzanine levels, plus security on its own level, plus we had to cross over to the United regional jet gates. It added about 20 minutes.
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Last edited by GrnMtnMan; 11-30-2012 at 03:08 PM. Reason: Add info
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:32 PM   #20
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We flew out of DCA for the first time last month and had a pretty good experience. Our gate wasn't in the new, remodeled part of DCA, it was in one of the older annexes. The pros of that was a non-existent security line, but the downside was a lack of options for breakfast. Our flight out and coming back left on time.

Going out was the planes with three seats on either side, coming back was two and two. We did decide to upgrade to the extra legroom seats anytime we're scheduled to fly on the smaller planes, there's just not enough overhead bin space so getting to board early is a plus.

We also live less than 10 minutes from Dulles and had gotten very spoiled by the proximity, but as long as we can get early, nonstop flight down to MCO and a late, nonstop flight on the way back, we'll schlep to DCA. Plus, both our January and May roundtrip tickets were only $180 apiece.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:35 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Missyrose
Our gate wasn't in the new, remodeled part of DCA, it was in one of the older annexes. The pros of that was a non-existent security line, but the downside was a lack of options for breakfast.
Yeah, I do not like the actual gate area either. I do like the exclusive check-in and bag claim area, but I'd be very happy if JetBlue moved to the other terminals.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:55 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by rwdavis2 View Post
One companion gets a free bag. We flew with 4 people in June and only 2 of us got free bags.
Thanks for the info!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrnMtnMan View Post
Not sure I understand why you 'have to park' at DCA.

I get that DCA is further from your home than IAD, but, in the grand scheme of things, its really not that far between the two places. Its not like you need a passport to cross some border...its just an hour or so more in the car for you driver.

Personally, I think you're undervaluing the ease of getting around at DCA, especially with strollers/little ones.. [/I]
Well I guess that's why I posed the question, because I'm unfamiliar with DCA. All your info has helped though. I didn't know about the terminal situation. I guess I feel like we have to park, because we'd need to 2 people to drive us to the airport, because we all don't fit in one car since my mother is coming, too. It's easy to find 2 people to drive us to IAD, not so much to DCA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Missyrose View Post
We flew out of DCA for the first time last month and had a pretty good experience. Our gate wasn't in the new, remodeled part of DCA, it was in one of the older annexes. The pros of that was a non-existent security line, but the downside was a lack of options for breakfast. Our flight out and coming back left on time.

Going out was the planes with three seats on either side, coming back was two and two. We did decide to upgrade to the extra legroom seats anytime we're scheduled to fly on the smaller planes, there's just not enough overhead bin space so getting to board early is a plus.

We also live less than 10 minutes from Dulles and had gotten very spoiled by the proximity, but as long as we can get early, nonstop flight down to MCO and a late, nonstop flight on the way back, we'll schlep to DCA. Plus, both our January and May roundtrip tickets were only $180 apiece.
Thanks for your experience! I felt spoiled, too, from having Dulles so close.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:26 PM   #23
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So many DC area folks.

We live about 20 minutes outside of DC, so National is always the best option for us. And it's often the cheapest. Our fare for our trip this month was $147 vs the $200+ offered through BWI and IAD.

We're flying United, but I have no issues with them from past trips. Honestly for this short of a trip, a plane is a plane. Not really worried about bag fees. My children will each have a carry-on with their own stuff and I may decide to check one roller suitcase for any overflow. We have a washer/dryer in our condo, so no need to pack an outfit for each day of the trip.
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